One of the reasons I started this blog is because I talk about food a A LOT. I am one of those preachy people. I’m constantly telling people “Ooh you should cook this, or try this ingredient blah blah blah.” I imagine it is very annoying. For example, when people say they don’t like vegetables, I feel compelled to convert them, insisting that it is just fussiness that they’ll grow out of once they discover the yumminess of the butternut squash. Most of the time it doesn’t work and they continue to avoid their greens like the plague. No doubt they’ll come hobbling back one day with rickets and scurvy begging me to make them a nice veggie quiche.
Anyways, I think some of my foodie talk has paid off, cause one of my friends asked me to give her a bakery lesson. Of course, I agreed straight away. A whole day devoted to talking about cake, eating cake and showing off? Yes please!
Here’s the Victoria Sponge my friend made:
And here‘s the recipe we used. I say we, but I didn’t actually do anything except tell my friend what to do. She didn’t really need my help, she just wasn’t confident in baking due to the fact that the last time she had tried making a cake was for my 18th birthday (8 years ago) and that had gone so horribly wrong that she had to buy me a cake instead. I didn’t mind – the bought cake was nice and it was shaped like a caterpillar, bonus!
Anyway, I digress, the Victoria Sponge was superb and now my friend can bake. She’s so confident in fact, she’s told me she is going to attempt another cake for my birthday, in two weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes…
Fed up with the hassle of planning what to have for tea every night? Then this will answer all your prayers. (Probably not safe for work). Enjoy.
So last night I went to a friend’s Pampered Chef party. I’ve been trying to think of a way to explain what a Pampered Chef party is but I don’t think anyone can put it better than the OH:
“It’s like an Ann Summers party but with cheese graters.” Ooh sounds painful doesn’t it?
Unfortunately I don’t have any photies. My camera’s battery charger has decided to go kaput. So basically we were all given a different cooking utensil and helped to make a snack – hot broccoli dip with pitta bread tortilla things. My utensil was the knife. My friend had this originally but the group decided that in the interest of public safety we should swop. It was my job to chop the pepper – my friend had mentioned my blog and made out I was the next Delia, so the pressure was on. It’s surprising how difficult it is to chop a pepper when there’s a room full of people staring at you!
The food was lovely, the pitta tortillas were great, really nice and crunchy. Definitely gonna make them. All in all it was a smashing night. The consultant was lovely and the food was yum (we also had mini apple crumble tartlets mmmmmm).
The products are also pretty darn good. I didn’t intend to buy anything (just went for the free food, is that bad?) but ended up getting a couple of things. Naughty I know, but I’m going to need shiny new kitchen utensils. After all, I’m the next Delia 🙂
EDIT – Just a disclaimer in case my friend decides to take legal action. Some parts of this post may have been created for entertainment purposes. My friend is lovely really and wouldn’t hurt anyone.
…and that’s free food!
I did a friend a favour a couple of days ago -I didn’t expect anything in return but ended up leaving with two big bags of fresh veg from her friend’s allotment. Result.
So I bought some lamb chops yesterday and was ready to make a mega cheapo Lancashire Hotpot using my free courgette, potatoes and turnips. That was until I cut into the turnip, and it turned out to be a beetroot! Oops! Anyway, here it is:
Put some lamb chops in the bottom of a casserole dish then layer with thinly sliced potatoes, then a layer of chopped courgette and green beans. Season the veg with salt, pepper and mixed herbs (I would have used rosemary but didn’t have any). Repeat the layers ending with a layer of potatoes. Pour over a pint of beef stock (only stock I had!), add a bouqet garni, brush the top with melted butter and season. Bung it in the oven for 2.5 hours on 170 C, then remove the lid and cook for another 30 mins on 220 C. Remove the bouqet garni and devour the hotpot in true Lancashire style, with a flat cap on and a whippet by your side. Yum.
Now I just need to know what to do with the beetroot!
P.S. WordPress doesn’t recognise the word ‘courgette’! Grrr it’s a bloomin British zucchini! Rant over.
As promised, although a little late , here are some food pics from our recent stay at Rudding Park Hotel in Follifoot (part of Harrogate, Yorkshire).
The hotel was lovely – they even took our bags to our room – I felt well posh! 🙂
They had a driving range in the grounds so we booked in there before dinner. I was incredibly bad, but the OH was pretty good – let’s hope that’s the only thing he shares with Tiger Woods!
Some people might think it’s a little odd that I take pictures of my food, and well yeah it probably is but food is a big part of the experience whenever I go anywhere and so I like to keep those memories, just as I would take photos of the places we visited and the things we’d seen.
So, you might have noticed that the World Cup has started. I’ve got my inflatable England hands ready, face painted and I’ve even made some red and white bunting for the window. Strangely, the OH has even decided to back the England team, despite the fact that he’s Welsh. Funny that.
Anyway, for me this is just another excuse to make yummy food. So, on Saturday, as England were playing USA (we didn’t lose yey!) we decided to make USA themed food. We had burgers with sweet potato wedges and real strawberry milkshakes – yum.
I intend to do the same based on every team England face in the competition. I’m really looking forward to Friday when we play Algeria! Slovenia, on the other hand, any ideas?!?!
Cheesecake is Mr Pavlova’s favourite dessert but I’m not that keen. I tend to find them too heavy so for my first go at a homemade one I opted for a light lemon cheesecake. Here’s the recipe from the Domestic Goddess herself. I used slightly less lemon juice. It was still quite tangy but not too tangy.
It was an absolute pain in the arse to get onto the plate without falling apart but presentation was never my strong point. It’s the taste that’s important and it tasted divine.
I saw Paloma Faith today! She was opening Carnesky’s Ghost Train on Blackpool Promenade so we popped along to see her perform a couple of songs and she was ace as always. Here’s some pics from the OH so blame him for the blurriness- she always looks über cool. We didn’t go on the ghost train ’cause we didn’t want to hang around in the cold but we’ll definitely be back soon.
After that, we decided to do a bit of shopping and then went home and ate some very unimaginative and unhealthy Friday night food. Friday night is our greasy food night – usually something and chips.
So I found out today that you’re not allowed to eat your Easter eggs until Sunday, so to satisfy my sugar cravings, we baked some breakfast muffins. I got the recipe from a freebie with Olive magazine called ’25 cakes, bakes & puddings’ but I’ve also found it online so here’s the link.
I found that it made 9 rather than 6 (3 were still in the oven here). And as they contain banana and seeds they’re practically health food. Now I don’t feel so bad about the obscene amount of chips and mayo I scoffed earlier 🙂